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Myanmar's Rohingya ethnic minority members walk through rice fields after crossing over to the Bangladesh side of the border near Cox's Bazar's Teknaf area, Friday, Sept. 1, 2017. Thousands of Rohingya Muslims are pouring into Bangladesh, part of an exodus of the beleaguered ethnic group from neighbouring Myanmar that began when violence erupted there on August 25. Most of Myanmar's estimated 1 million Rohingya live in northern Rakhine state. They face severe persecution, with the government refusing to recognize them as a legitimate native ethnic minority, leaving them without citizenship and basic rights. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A US diplomat says the government is concerned about the Rohingya crisis


A U.S. diplomat for Southeast Asia said the U.S. is concerned by the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar.

In a conference call on Friday, Patrick Murphy, a U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for Southeast Asia, said that the U.S. wants the country's government to take action to end violence in the state of Rakhine in Myanmar.

“We think, urgently, actions need to be taken to stop this violence and facilitate humanitarian assistance, lower the rhetoric, lower the tension and ... start doing the hard work to solve the longer-standing problems,” Murphy told reporters on Friday, according to Reuters.

The tension between the Buddhists and the Rohingya in Myanmar has been growing for decades. In August, Myanmar security forces violently clashed with the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, which was declared a terrorist organization by the government.

Nearly 429,000 Rohingya refugees have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh, according to ABC News.

Murphy, who spent three days in Myanmar this week, said there were “many points of responsibility.”

“There’s the elected government, there are the security forces which have authorities that don’t fall under the purview of the civilian elected government, there are local leaders and there is the broader population, among which there are many emotions and many tensions,” he said.

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